Monday, March 31, 2014

Comments received a few hours after Bandila aired that irresponsible "special report"

It's been more than a month now since ABS-CBN broadcasted that irresponsible special report on a "flesh-eating" skin disease "gradually spreading" in Pangasinan through it's late evening newscast Bandila. The 2nd part of the report was never shown on TV for in less than 24 hours, other media organizations and government authorities have conclusively shown that the report from the giant network was a hoax. The matter is now in the hands of the network's internal Ombudsman for investigation. For how long will this investigation process last? I have no idea.

The intent of this post however is not add more criticism to ABS-CBN for they received many already except from loyal fantards who would sing praises to the the network no matter what. This post is a personal lament. Though I'm glad and thankful that the Lord speedily exposed the falsehood of the report, I'm lamenting the fact that the incident manifested the gross lack of discernment in a large portion of the Filipino evangelical community. When I say "discernment", I simply mean the ability to distinguish what is right from what is wrong, the ability to identify the gem of truth from a pile falsehoods.

The Spirit of truth resides in us, right? The Spirit guides us, right? But why is it that within the hours immediately following the report of Bandila, the most vocal accessories in spreading the falsehood in social media are professing Christians? They are quick to tell the world, "See? We told you our prophets are for real!" They were also quick to confront fellow believers who questioned the credibility of their Indian prophets. Some of them found their way to my November 28 post Should Pangasinan Fear the Skin Disease Prophecy?: an Examination of Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj's Recent Track Record.

I've created a Facebook photo album of the comments I received the hours immediately following Bandila's special report. Click HERE

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Purpose of Peace

China's constant acts of bullying within our seas energized intercessions for peace. That is of course the right thing to do; we should ask for God's intervention. No one wants war; no one wants bloodshed especially if your nation's armed forces are weaker compared to the bully nation. But perhaps we should go deeper than just praying for peace. We should ask ourselves "What is the purpose of peace?" Without a proper answer to this question, we may be praying for purely selfish reasons.

Living in London at the onset of the Second World War, Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a witness of how men and women crowded places of worship to pray for peace during those troubled times. Here's an excerpt from one of his sermons. The principles were drawn from Acts 9:31 and 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
It is not enough that we should desire peace merely that we avoid the horror and suffering of war, and all the dislocations and hardships and interference with ordinary life that are consequent upon it. Our real desire for peace should be based upon the further desire to have the fullest opportunity to live the godly and the holy life, and to have the maximum amount of time in which to build ourselves up in the faith. Man's chief business in life is to serve and to glorify God. That is why we are here on earth; all other things are subservient to this-- all the gifts and the pleasures which God gives us so freely. That is the chief end and object of man's life; and consequently he should desire peace because it enables him to do that more freely and fully than he can during a state of war.

But is that our reason for desiring peace? Is that the real motive in our prayers for peace? It is not for me to judge, but one cannot be blind to facts. Far too often, I fear, the motive has been purely selfish-- merely the avoidance of the consequences of war. Indeed, it has frequently failed to rise even to that level, and one has felt that many have desired peace merely in order to avoid a disturbance of the kind of life which they were living and enjoying so heartily.

What kind of life was that? In a word, it was almost the exact opposite of that described in our two passages of Scripture (Acts 9:31; 1 Timothy 2:1-2). Under the blessing of peace, men and women, in constantly increasing numbers, have forsaken God and religion and have settled down to a life which is essentially materialistic and sinful.

Why Does God Allow War?
p.91-92; Crossway Books

Thursday, March 6, 2014

He Has More Insight Than His Bishop

Sa kalagitnaan ng takot at pagkalito ng publiko nang nakaraang linggo bunga ng iresponsableng pag-uulat ng Bandila (late night newscast ng ABS-CBN), nag-tweet si Bishop Eddie Villanueva ng JIL:

Haynaku! ang Intercessors for the Philippines (IFP) nga naman. Mag-iimport ng mga Propeta na mananakot sa mga tao. Kapag tsumatsamba, "Ang galing ng mga propeta namin!" Kapag naman hindi natutupad ang mga hula, "Ang galing namin mag-intercede". Win-win situation palagi.

"Palakpakan! Na may kasamang hiyawan!"

Ganyan din ang pangangatuwiran na nasa likod ng tweet na iyan ng Obispo ng JIL. Samantala, isang karaniwang bahagi ng Pastoral staff ng JIL U-Belt na nagngangalang Jade Angelo Gascon ang nagpahayag ng ganitong puna:
As I have observed from conversations surrounding Sadhu Selvaraj’s prophecies, it is always a dead end: “If they come true, he’s a true prophet. If they don’t come true, it’s because the people repented.” Whatever happens, he’s always right. Although I disagree with that line of reasoning (on the basis of Deuteronomy 18:21-22 and 13:1-4), I will not dispute it for now because it would seem to be an effort in futility to do so.

Thus, this post is not intended to examine his or Bro. Selvakumar’s prophecies bit by bit. Instead, I would like to turn your attention to a doctrine taught by Sadhu Selvaraj which, in my opinion, should be a major reason for all Christians to genuinely reconsider whether or not his prophetic statements are of any value. The doctrine is that dead Biblical prophets or saints can and actually do help Christians achieve God’s purposes on Earth.

I was present in one of his gatherings in Manila a few years ago (I’ve forgotten the exact year) when, much to my surprise, he claimed that the prophet Joel was in our midst, imparting to him revelations he was supposed to tell the people. No, it wasn’t Joel Houston or Joel Osteen or Joel Lamangan. It was the prophet Joel son of Pethuel of the Bible he was talking about. It was the first time I heard someone claim that a Biblical prophet is personally and spiritually coming down from heaven to deliver a message through him.

Basahin ang kabuuan ng kanyang blog post DITO.

Nang mabasa ko ang magkasalungat na posisyon ng isang Obispo at isang mas nakababatang bahagi ng pastoral staff , ang unang pumasok sa aking isip ay ang awit ng Salmista: